SWC Cuts Ribbon on New Facility

Created: 01 February, 2018
Last update: 27 July, 2022

By Mario A. Cortez

Community members and local leaders gathered at Southwestern College to celebrate the grand opening of the campus’ new Aquatics and Wellness Center.

Located on the corner of East H Street and Otay Lakes Road, the long-awaited complex is the latest addition to Southwestern College’s newly-built facilities.

The $52-million center features a gymnasium, fitness center, classrooms, fitness labs, two Olympic-sized swimming pools, and a 25-meter therapy pool.

Using the new pool area as a backdrop, Southwestern administrators spoke to the audience about the new facility and the opportunities that it presents for the South Bay Area.

“This represents so much more than an athletics facility,” said Jim Spillers, dean of Southwestern College’s School of Wellness, Exercise Science, and Athletics. “As the dean who has watched this building’s progress, I can only be proud of the opportunities that it will provide.”

“Who knows, we may be training future olympians in these very pools,” Spillers added.

The initial building process for the Aquatics and Wellness Center began back in February of 2016, when over 36,000 cubic feet of dirt were trucked in to lay down the foundation for this facility. The two-week process saw 140 dump trucks travel from a construction site in downtown San Diego to the eastern Chula Vista facility every day.

After the structure’s level and grade was set, construction on the 75,000-square-foot center began and went on for about 18 months.

Although there is still work being done on specific parts of the building, as well as the landscaping around it, the Center’s gymnasium has been in use already by Southwestern College’s athletics programs.

The Southwestern Jaguars men’s basketball team has played six games at their new home and went undefeated in their first five matchups.

Southwestern College Superintendent and President Kindred Murillo thanked the community for its ongoing support and being part of the project.

“These kinds of things happen because we are a community college and because you as a community trusted us with your dollars when you voted for the project bonds,” Murillo stated.

Funding from the project comes from Proposition R, a $389 million general obligation bond which was approved by voters in 2008 to provide for modernization of facilities at Southwestern College’s main and satellite campuses.

The Wellness and Aquatics Center will replace the now-closed pool and gymnasium buildings. On the site of these old structures, work on a new math, science and engineering building and a new performing arts center is being done.